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  1. #1
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    Default Prejudice, bigotry, racism, and sexism...

    Why won't they die? :steam:

    I was reading some other forums tonight and I got this horrible sinking feeling in my gut when I read all the horrible things people had to say about other people because of their ethnicity, creed, gender, sexuality, political affiliation, and so forth. I guess I'm pretty sheltered here because I thought the world was getting smarter.

    It's when I noticed people making completely unfounded claims that I suddenly felt the need to start this thread and ask what the hell. Why do people need to make up stuff to support their hatred? Do they really believe those lies? Do they feel justified in lying as long as it supports their cause?

    And what is with the snobbish and elitist attitudes on these kids? It's sickening to see the fellow youth of my country speak so ignorantly. Is there even any point in arguing with someone who is honestly disgusted of other human beings just because they are somehow different?

    [/RANT]

  2. #2
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    People attack those that are different from them because they feel threatened by that difference. Whether their perception of a threat is valid or not is the question. In some cases, such as war, it might well be. In the more domestic cases you referred to, it probably isn't. So the problem lies in correcting their perceptions.

    There is likely an element of heredity and geography. Both a person's local culture, and what they are taught by their parents can encourage such behavior and negative feelings.

    Finally, there can be situations where a person is conditioned by bad experiences with a few members of a given group to malign them all.

    Does that make sense?

  3. #3
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    I always thought prejudice was a great time-saving device.

    I mean, seriously, why waste your time on someone or something who will most likely not be worth it? And if they're not worth it, why waste energy by treating them as if they are?

    I have nothing against racism -- people are in fact entitled to their opinions.

  4. #4
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    I always thought prejudice was a great time-saving device.
    If your goal is pain and destruction, then I suppose it is. Kiddo and I don't share your goal, however.

    I mean, seriously, why waste your time on someone or something who will most likely not be worth it? And if they're not worth it, why waste energy by treating them as if they are?

    I have nothing against racism -- people are in fact entitled to their opinions.
    The issue isn't whether the people in question are worthy of our time and attention, so much as a desire to protect their rights as human beings from being trampled upon. It isn't really for an individual, so much as for the sake of an ideal.

    Your last point is only valid if you adopt a purely Individualist perspective. However, in our society, people are only entitled to their own opinions and choices provided those choices do not harm others.

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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    If your goal is pain and destruction, then I suppose it is. Kiddo and I don't share your goal, however.
    No, in this case, my goal is not pain and destruction.

    Sociology books poison our heads about how prejudice can prevent us from getting to know a person. But the thing is that the prejudiced does not want to get to know their target, simply because they're a waste of one's own time. Hating people before you know them saves time. You don't have to waste the time to get to know them. Hence, people are color-coded, so that we know who to interact with and who to stay away from.

    And the thing about discrimination is intriguing, especially when it comes to businesses hiring. By law, businesses cannot hire based on race or gender, but that, in return, is barring the business's right to hire who they wish.

  6. #6
    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uberfuhrer View Post
    No, in this case, my goal is not pain and destruction.

    Sociology books poison our heads about how prejudice can prevent us from getting to know a person. But the thing is that the prejudiced does not want to get to know their target, simply because they're a waste of one's own time. Hating people before you know them saves time. You don't have to waste the time to get to know them. Hence, people are color-coded, so that we know who to interact with and who to stay away from.
    Oh, so you're only condoning an individual's right to discrimination in whom they socialize with, not crimes against people they dislike? Well, I'll grant that a person does have a right to choose their friends based on any criteria they wish.
    And the thing about discrimination is intriguing, especially when it comes to businesses hiring. By law, businesses cannot hire based on race or gender, but that, in return, is barring the business's right to hire who they wish.
    Hmm... you might have a point there. There are cases of artificial diversity that don't help anyone. The issue for me is whether or not people have a right to deliberately harm and subjugate groups they dislike. I'm not questioning their right to dislike them privately, I'm saying that it is wrong for them to harm, subjugate, and/or denounce such people, and thus impair their rights.

  7. #7
    Furry Critter with Claws Kiddo's Avatar
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    I now feel conflicted...

    On one hand I believe in the concept of "Judge not that ye be not judged," where since no man is perfect, no one has the right to condemn another man for their imperfections. So part of me thinks I should be tolerating the bigots of the world. (After all, its only wise to treat others as you wish to be treated, thereby teaching tolerance by example.)

    On the other hand I believe that we should not tolerate another person doing something that can cause harm to another. So part of me thinks I shouldn't tolerate the bigots of the world because their attitudes and choices can cause great harm.

    This feels quite ironically like a P/J conflict. A P would probably say that no one has the right to judge an individual for the way they think, while the J would probably say that if that thinking causes harm to others then an individual should not be sharing or acting on those thoughts.

  8. #8
    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by athenian200 View Post
    Oh, so you're only condoning an individual's right to discrimination in whom they socialize with, not crimes against people they dislike? Well, I'll grant that a person does have a right to choose their friends based on any criteria they wish.
    Actually Uber has a point, although I'm not sure that it's the same point as he was making.

    Discrimination and associated ethnocentric behaviour could be said to stem from a mental shortcut - a heuristics approach to evaluating individuals and behaviour. Mostly I'd say it's just a lazy mind, since it is more or less replacing thought with gut reaction to differences.

    However, it is very important to note that it is extremely unlikely that everyone one of us does not exhibit discriminatory behaviour. When tested in various ways "others" become much harder to associate with "good" traits... and in conditioned areas, such as blacks in the states, it becomes extremely difficult to associate good attributes to them.

    The amazing thing about this is that it really doesn't matter how open you are. The training - the priming, if you will - is very very deep and almost without exception.

    As far as laws go, they are a concious act to reduce the ramification of priming. As laws are added, social transformation does occur and it does reduce the training and priming. In short, it works. But it isn't an absolute. Until the individual that make up the whole identify with a new concept the old one remains, carried from generation to generation. In the case of the US, it'll be, in theory, the transformation between "individualism" and "all men are equal". Right now it is individualism as an excuse for racism - the equal part is subject to the individualistic reaction (I'll think and say what I want) and the implied individual response (arrogance: I am better than others).

    [/rambling]

    In any case, Uber is right as far as wasting time goes. It's often a shortcut to actual thought.

  9. #9
    Senior Member creativeRhino's Avatar
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    Prejudice, bigotry and racism are just the way humans categorise people - so they can block them out (like Uber says, know who to hate from the get-go).

    Down in Australia we have issues with dealing with the original inhabitants and the more recent arrivals because they are "not like us" in form or behaviour. All of this stuff is put in young folks heads from an early age - by families, peers or the community at large.

    What I found fascinating was a couple of trips to South Africa a few years back. They have 11 official languages in the 'New South Africa' vs the old 2 "white languages". There is tension between the various black ethnic groups. It is mostly scapegoating "if it wasn't for *those people* we'd have...." (*those people* is one of the few PC ways to refer to a group that everybody knows who you are talking about but nobody names them explicitly).

    The system there is far from perfect with lots of challenges - for years they relied on outside support and refuge overseas if their political activities were illegal. Now they face an influx from Zimbabwe and there is a new group of *those people* to scapegoat.

    But the most surprising thing I noticed was the difference and prejudice between the 2 white "tribes" - English speakers and Afrikaaners. My husband's family are in the English speaking group, but his sister had married an Afrikaaner. They really are two cultures whose members don't understand each other on many levels - and don't want to try.

    That really showed me a lot about prejudice / bigotry etc - it closes off any desire to understand and therefore bridge any gap / grow mutual understanding. So as such, it is self perpetuating.

    The best way I've seen to address it is by comedy - well pitched it can really rattle cages and open eyes (if only for a few seconds...)

  10. #10
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    I guess what I don't understand is why you have to hate anyone. What does hating someone accomplish other than shutting down the effective pathways of communication that would enable us to understand each other better. It seems like we are shooting ourselves in the foot when we choose to give in to our personal prejudices rather than challenge them in the interest of becoming a more accepting and understanding individual. I just can't see how discrimination allows for growth, rather it seems to be quite the opposite, a childish and immature way of perceiving the world because we are too afraid to challenge our own perceptions.

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